Sunday, April 21, 2013


At a recent Female-Led workshop, a woman said she suspects that her husband is hiding things from her. Unfortunately, she’s probably right! Men do tend to squirrel things away and might be tempted to hide things from their wives, particularly if the man in question has only recently started on an FLR or if the wife is in the process of establishing control.

Our little conclave suggested that she look into things and provided her some suggestions. We added that by doing so she was doing him a favor—helping him do what’s right.

Things to check – men are good at hiding things; be good at finding them!

Make sure your man understands that your having complete authority means “complete access.” When you ask him to give you his wallet to look through, his ONLY response should be, “Yes, Ma'am!” Women need to understand this, too. Ladies, don't feel guilty about looking into things. By being in the know you’re helping him do what's right!

His wallet—Periodically check his wallet. Does he have more money than you allow? Are there any credit card or ATM receipts that he should have given you or that he shouldn’t have in the first place? Does he have inappropriate receipts; things he shouldn’t have bought? If he does, demand an explanation; take any money he shouldn’t have.

One woman in our group is particularly strict on this. If her husband has money he shouldn't, it costs him, no matter the reason! He has to turn over that amount PLUS 50%. If he has bought something without her permission, the item is returned, and she gets the money plus 50%.

In dennis' case, he gets a generous allowance but can't have more than $20 in his wallet without permission. If he does, it costs him! Money right then and there as well as adding demerits that will eventually cost him yet again. There’s no protection from “double jeopardy” with me.

His computer bag—A woman friend periodically checks her husband’s computer case; she found that he was using it to hide men’s magazines that he wasn’t supposed to have.

Toolboxes—Check toolboxes, work benche, and the garage for things he might be hiding. One woman’s husband was using a toolbox to hide liquor that he was only supposed to be drinking with her permissions.

The trunk of the car—The trunk of his car is a common hiding place; check in the wheel well, too. You’ll never know what you’ll find. One woman found that her husband was hiding money he wasn’t supposed to have in HER car! The $500 she found under the spare tire when she had a flat came in handy at the mall! He was playing games with expense reimbursements and used that money to treat his male friends despite her not allowing him. No more! And she used this as an opportunity to call her husband's company to make sure that future expense reimbursements were put in with his normal pay where she could control them.

Another woman found men’s magazines in her husband’s car, magazines he wasn't permitted to have. Now she checks not only his car but his briefcase quite often.

No locks!—Something with a lock on it should make you suspicious; have the lock removed or have him give you a key. One woman made a statement by having dennis cut the lock cut off while her man was away; dennis is always happy to help women get or maintain control! She found new tools he didn't need and didn't have permission to buy. Her having the lock removed stressed her authority and her impatience with her man when it came to his following rules.

Keep him on his toes—Check often but not predictably, not with any regularity. Being effective means surprising him. I may check dennis’ wallet three days in a row and then not for a month. It's all random.

Be firm – I meet dennis at the door and demand his wallet or his bag and go through it. No hello kiss, no conversation—until I take care of business!

Be assertive—I might scatter the contents of his wallet or computer case on the floor. I'm showing my authority in a way other than by just looking.

By preventing her man from hiding things, a woman eliminates temptation and helps him do what’s right—that is, do what SHE wants done!

Oh, and ladies, your purse is purely private and he should understand this. dennis may carry
mother’s or my purse, but he knows better than to EVER look into them.  EVER!  One day I was at the mall with mother, and I needed a number from a credit card inside my purse. Dennis was at home and could have looked, but I had him bring the purse to me at the mall.  I got the number I needed and sent him back home with the purse.  It reinforced his understanding of my complete privacy. Mother purposely asked dennis to get something from her purse. Dennis responded correctly by bringing her the purse. He didn't go into it; he knew better!



Anonymous said...

It's lovely to have the two of you back. Not knowing that you were going to be away for a while, I posted on your last blog that what Nancy and her mother seem to be moving towards is enforcing a typical 1950s marriage in reverse; your latest offering seems to lend weight to this thought.

Up to now in our FLR, my wife has allowed me the discretion to have certain areas of my life outside her direct scrutiny, always providing that it does not impede my duties or run counter to her wishes and authority. She lets me know that to take advantage of her generosity would inevitably result in loss of all privileges, including the right to carry my own debit card.

As I do not want to lose these privileges, I am careful to be absolutely candid and open about everything. However, you seem to be suggesting that a more effective FLR demands constant, or at least regular, supervision by the head of the house of every facet of a man's life. I hope that I'm not misreading you here.

This is, in effect, the direct reverse of what we have come to view as the typical 1950s marriage, and again, seems to demand a lot of a busy, working woman. Is it really feasible for a female, commuting and frequently working ten-hour days, to make such a complete audit of a husband's movements/possessions as you suggest?

I've no doubt that my wife would applaud the theory of such an arrangement. The practicalities might be a little more troublesome, both for her and me.

In any case, thanks again for the blog. It's not that I always agree with every word that you write, but what you say is invariably thought-provoking.

Anonymous said...

Workshops!? Where? When?

Nancy and Dennis said...

Anonymous (just above):

No need for a working woman to be constantly monitoring activities - she only needs to do so on occasion. It's the POSSIBILITY that she will look at things more closely that keeps things in line. My husband doesn't know when I'll ask for his wallet or bag so he has to be ready all the time. I exert minimum effort but I get the optimal response. As the relationship moves forward and she is the undisputed authority, the less she has to check as his roles and responsibilities become second nature.

As for a '50s marriage in reverse; yes, this is true, although there were a great many men in the 50s who took orders from their wives - and loved doing so. The term FLR wasn't used, of course; rather these men were referred to as 'henpecked' among other derogatory terms - but these men were very happy to have a wife in charge as it made for smooth, happy marriages - unlike the typical 50s patriarchy. Perhaps I'll post something on the 50s since I have a lot of stories about women and their men in that era.


Nancy and Dennis said...

Anonymous (asking about workshops) -

Sorry, we don't have any formal, public workshops. Our workshops most often deal with women's workplace issues and the like. Mostly these come about from casual conversations and get-togethers.


Anonymous said...

I feel accountability is important in my FLR .With my wife being the leader in our marriage I feel a sense of security that she monitors my actions. She does allow me spending money but has full access to it and also what it is used for. I'm allowed to use a credit card also with her approval which is checked at the end of the month on the statement. She also has access to my computer and email . We have trust in our marriage but me being accountable to her is a must.

Anonymous said...

I'll be very interested to hear about those stories of the 50s and 60s. Any woman who manged to maintain proper authority over home and husband in an era devoid of mass communication, instant transport connections and dominated by an entrenched patriarchy deserves real celebration.

The fact is that an FLR is that much more viable today, not least because it is so much easier to enforce. Not totally, yet, of course. Women still comprise nowhere near a quorum, let alone a majority, of positions of real power in any walk of life. Perhaps in order to right the balance, a seismic shift needs to happen in the opposite direction - women only shortlists for certain boards; only certain secretarial or administrative roles open to men in other cases, as examples off the top of my head. Hence, a proper matriarchy to replace an obvious patriarchy before the pendulum eventually settles somewhere near the middle.

One thing is clear - it is my wife's continued progress in smashing all sorts of glass ceilings at work that has given her the confidence to impose her authority at home in a way that would have been the envy of her grandmother. One would like to think that more progress in the workplace will lead to similar reactions from a host more women in the future.

Kathy said...

It is important to know what you man is doing at all times and who he is doing it with. Having said that it is necessary to allow him the freedom to have a responsible career. As a wife you can not be in his face at work. You can not expect coworkers to keep you informed of everything he does. In the final analysis there must be some degree of trust.

What I have learned is that giving your guy privledges is a way of gaining control. In a FLR men appreciate these privledges. The fear of lousing them helps keep men in line.

And always a debit card or credit card is better than cash. At the end of every day you can see where and when he used it.


Nancy and Dennis said...

Kathy -

I think that a point that is being missed is that while it's important to know what one's husband is doing, as he learns proper behavior it's less and less important to keep informed of everything he does, especially at work. Keeping too close a watch is burdensome, but the fact that he knows you may be watching is a strong incentive to behave.

And you are so right, Kathy. Granting a man privileges is a way of gaining - and keeping - control. Dennis has many privileges but he stands to lose these if he steps out of line. I tell women that we give men privileges so we can take them away. I'm not in the habit of correcting Dennis for everything he does wrong, but on occasion, when I decide, we have a reconciliation for his missteps. His punishment varies but always includes some forfeiture of privileges,allowance, whatever I decide. When he's fulfilled his assigned obligations his demerits are wiped clean and his transgressions are forgotten - until next time.

As for your comment on a debit card, dennis is allowed to borrow one to use for purchases such as gas and groceries. Receipts are required, of course. For day-to-day expenses and pocket money he has a limited amount of cash; he knows to get receipts to justify his spending.


Anonymous said...

Yes to privileges no to rights. I think that to enjoy privileges is very important. They are doled out by the woman in power and can be revoked or withdrawn. Rights and expectations should not come into it for a man.


Anonymous said...

My wife frequently checks my computer to see "what's in there"
and has made me install key logging software so she can stay on top of what I am doing on my computer. I am not permitted any locked files or my computer, and internet privileges will be immediately taken away. Dennis do you agree with a husband being permitted to have his own computer?